After its initial large-format bankruptcy and a return from the ashes with a smaller footprint, Toys “R” Us has closed its last two stores. Noble attempt that was ill-timed due to Co-vid.
Author Archives: skittel
A shift in focus
I am sorry if you have visited this site in the last year only to find no new posts. My focus has been elsewhere for the last year. I am back to offering occasional posts here, but most of my energy will be focused on my other site, Selling the Outdoors. I hope you will join me there.
When Retailers Do It Right
The projected 100,000+ people across Canada calling for climate action will be joined by the employees of Mountain Equipment Coop. I applaud MEC’s support for the environment and their employees.
Another Great Brand Impression
A fryer basket for fries and hashbrowns at A&W.
My wife and I were in a big box hardware store the other day day dreaming about some home improvements. It was easy to wander and talk since we were not bothered by any employees during our time in the store.
While looking at tile, we were approached by a sales associate who asked if we needed any help. We said that we did not need help but were just wandering around. Moments later another associate entered the aisle and also offered assistance. We politely declined.
Moments later the two associates began discussing one of their’s physical maladies. While 10 feet away, my wife and I had to listen how different pain killers made them nauseous causing vomiting and diarrhea. The continued to talk about their health issues while we beat a hasty retreat from the aisle.
Hey associates, do not talk about personal issues within ear shot of customers.
Another Brand Impression
Saw this in Vancouver’ BC over the weekend. Not a bad door pull but I think a “frosty” mug made of lucite would be better brand impression.
…I am going to have to go home and think about it.
As I strolled up to the door of the store in a sleety squall, I noticed a woman in her 50s getting out of a new Lexus LS also heading for the door. I held the door so she could get out of the weather more quickly. (I was not being chauvinistic just courteous, I would have held the door for anyone.)
As she passed, I observed, “That is a beautiful car.”
“Do you thinks so?” she responded. “I just got it and I love it.”
“Yes,” I said, “it is quite nice”
“Thank you,” she said as I noticed her Rolex watch.
Why do I mention the Lexus and the Rolex? Well, anyone in sales learns to recognize simple things about their customers that might help them learn a bit more about the customers. To me, this person was a person of means.
Once inside the store, we headed in different directions but our paths crossed later again in the camping equipment area. (Yes, it was an outdoor store.) While I was looking over some product, the woman that I came in with was approached by a sales associate who offered assistance.
“I came in to pick up a headlamp. My friend has one and she really likes it.”
I thought to myself that she was a transactional customer with few requirements. I figured a few questions from the sales assoiciate would have her on her way with a headlamp in a matter of minutes. But I was mistaken.
Rather than asking her what she would use the headlamp for or what headlamp headlamp her friend had and liked, the sales associate went into an in-depth clinic on headlamps.
He talked about type of bulbs, lumens versus watts, brightness levels, strap types, brands available, run time claimed by the manufacturer, actual run time, maximum beam distance, red lens options, strobe or non-strobe functions, rechargeable, non-rechargeable and combinations of both, helmet compatibility, blah, blah, blah. He continued to talk puking product information on her at a truly amazing rate. As he droned on, never asking her any questions or checking for understanding, you could see the shopper glaze over and take a step back.
After what seemed like an eternity, he finally stopped. It was at this point that the shopper looked at him with a confused look on her face and said, “You have given me more than enough to think about. I guess I am going to have to go home and think about it.” The sales associate simply replied, “Well if you think of any other questions, I will be around” as he turned and walked away.
The woman turned and walked towards the door.
An easy sale completely messed up by the sales associate. Here was a woman of means who simply wanted a headlamp, maybe like her friends. Price was not going to be an issue. A few simple questions would have gotten her a fine headlamp that probably would have more than satisfied her needs. Instead, her attempt to simply pick up a headlamp was thwarted by an incompetent yet well-meaning sales associate.
A Nice Touch – Williams-Sonoma
While purchasing a new piece of cookware at William-Sonoma, I was invited to join their rewards program, The Key. The cashier turned to another employee and asked how to enroll the person on the register so that the customer does not have to go through the hassle of using the small and glitchy keypad. ANT
A Nice Touch – Filson
Strolling through the Pearl District in Portland the other day, I wandered into the Filson store. Upon entry, I heard Lynyrd Skynyrd playing (vinyl on the in-store turntable and was greeted warmly by one of the sales people. She then offered me a beer! ANT
A Nice Touch – Williams-Sonoma
I stopped by WIlliams-Sonoma on Sunday to make a purchase. After the transaction, the cashier bagged my item then stopped around from behind the counter to hand me my bag. ANT.